CIO Values: Tom Holmes, CIO At Arise Virtual Solutions

Provide strong leadership, a clear vision, and the proper resources -- then get out of the way and allow your team to execute.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

May 8, 2008

3 Min Read

Career Track

Tom HolmesCIO, Arise Virtual Solutions

How long at current company: One year

Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: Being a member of the team at JM Family Enterprises that was ranked No. 9 on the InformationWeek 500 for 2006. We believed we were doing good work and driving great business value, but to be ranked and listed with some of the most successful and innovative companies of the world was an honor and a humbling experience.

Most important career influencer: Ken Yerves, executive VP of JM Family Enterprises, who showed me the importance of relationships and how to value everyone as a "10." Scott Barrett, executive VP of JM Family Enterprises, who taught me how great leadership can overcome any obstacle. Michael Cline, chairman of Arise, who shared his passion around creating "value edge" results for clients.

Decision I wish I could do over: Nothing. Although we all would like an opportunity for a "do-over," all decisions, good or bad, build the character and experiences that make us better.


The next big thing for my business will be ... the continued explosion of the home-based virtual contact center. The technology infrastructure with VoIP, thin clients, and Web services allows the complete virtualization of the enterprise.

Best advice for future CIOs: Never forget that you are a service organization for the business and a partner with the business. Build strong relationships with your business partners. Provide strong leadership, a clear vision, and the proper resources--then get out of the way and allow your team to execute.

On The Job

IT budget: I manage to a fairly flat fixed budget but a highly variable project budget designed to meet our clients' and business needs.

Size of IT team: 22 plus an additional 18 on the service desk

Top three initiatives:

  • Although we already deliver client results internationally, this year we have a major push to expand our international presence and globalize our technology systems and applications.

  • We're implementing new data warehousing and reporting tools to provide better insights for our business and our clients.

  • Through the formation of the project management office and by introducing new development methodologies, we're gaining a more detailed understanding of business needs.


Colleges/degrees: Hawaii Pacific College

Leisure activities: Flying and riding motorcycles

Presidential candidate: None of the above

Last vacation: Two-week trip with my girls to Alaska

If I weren't a CIO, I'd be ... a currencies trader. I love the fast pace and 24/7 environment.

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